Now that you’ve created valuable content on the foundation of solid keyword research, it’s important to make sure it’s not only readable by humans, but by search engines too!
Technical SEO is a HUGE topic. You don’t need to have a deep technical understanding of these concepts. The main goal with technical SEO is to ensure that search engines can easily find and crawl all of the pages on your website. In recent years, technical SEO has expanded to include topics like site loading speed, mobile optimization and more.
To be honest, most site owners don’t need to worry that much about technical SEO.
(Especially if you are a WordPress user)
But that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore technical SEO. One wrong move could get damaged your entire site.
With that, here’s a step by step guide to get your technical SEO in order.
Before a website go live, it needs some set up!
- Purchase a Domain Name: Domain names like dgtlhelp.com are purchased from a domain name registrar such as Go Daddy or Host Gator. These registrars are just an online websites that manage the reservations of domain names.
- Link Domain name to IP address: The Internet doesn’t understand your domain name like “dgtlhelp.com” as website addresses without the help of domain name servers (DNS). The Internet uses a series of numbers called an Internet protocol (IP) address (ex: 220.127.116.11) to understand your site. So we need to use a DNS to link our domain names with machine-readable numbers (IP).
Now that you know how a website appears in a browser, we’re going to focus on optimizing your website for search.
Verify Your Site in Google Search Console
The Google Search Console or Webmaster is a dashboard of your site’s health and performance in Google.
(Note: Bing has their own version of this tool called Bing Webmaster Tools).
To use the Google Search Console, you’ll need to verify your website (Google calls sites “Domain Properties”).
When you do, you’ll get access to an awesome tool – Google Search Console that shows you how many people see and click on your website in Google’s search results.
But that’s just a starting you can do much more with this amazing tool.
The tool is packed with helpful features that allow you to submit your sitemap directly to Google, see how many pages are indexed, and much more.
Canonicalization: Tell search engines about your preferred pages
When Google finds the same content on different web pages, it sometimes doesn’t know which page to index or not in search results. This is why the “canonical” tag was invented: to help search engines index the original version of content and not all its duplicates.
The canonical tag allows you to tell search engines where the original version of content is located. So, if you want to republish a piece of content, whether exactly or less modified, but don’t want to risk creating duplicate content, the canonical tag is here to save the time.
A canonicalization tag ensures that every unique piece of content on your website has only one URL. To prevent search engines from indexing multiple versions of a single page, Google suggests having a self-referencing canonical tag on every page on your site.
Measure and Optimize your Page Speed
A slow loading website isn’t just annoying for users. It can hurt search engines too. In 2018 Google launched a new “Speed Update”. As per name suggests, this update started to penalize web pages that load slowly on mobile devices.
Naturally, Google doesn’t make you suggest whether your site is loading slowly or not. In fact, they just launched an updated version of their tool – Page Speed Insights.
Not only does this tool give your page a 0-100 speed rating.
…but an opportunity list of things you can do to speed things up.
As you can see, we have some work to do?
(Note: Depending upon the suggestions you get, you may be able to improve your site’s loading speed with a number of things. If not, you may need a developer to improve your site’s HTML)
When your site is brand new and only has 5 pages, website structure doesn’t matter all that much.
But when your site has hundreds or even thousands of pages, your site architecture is setup can make a big change.
First, you want to organize your website structure (also known as a “hierarchy”) that divides your pages into categories.
Then, you want to use point internal links to showcase high-priority pages right on your website.
Optimize For Mobile
Mobile optimization has gone from “great to have” to “a must need”.
That’s why Google’s algorithm is now mobile-first. That’s mean your website should be well optimized and fully responsive for mobile users.
So if your site loads quickly on desktop, but not in mobile phones, Google will consider your site slow.
If you verified your site in Search Console or webmaster, you can see whether your site has any mobile usability issues or not.
And if you find that your site isn’t mobile-friendly, that’s an issue that can affect your ranking. So make sure that you optimize your website for mobile visitors too.
Track Success with Google Analytics
How do you know if all the effort you’re putting into SEO is actually working or not?
But with this amazing tool – Google Analytics, you can largely answer that question.
Here, you can see how Google Analytics can help your SEO campaigns go smoothly:
- You can easily track (and visualize) changes in organic traffic in real time. If you see a graph like this, you’re probably on the right track.
- You can analyze the pages which bring most traffic from search engines. That way, you can check on what’s working or what’s not.
- Google Analytics can help you to track how website visitors interact within your website. Metrics like: bounce rate and page views make it easy to understand if your content is meeting the needs of users or not.
Plus, you can also setup conversion tracking in Google Analytics. And see if the traffic that’s coming in from SEO is actually converting into leads and sales.
congratulations on completing the halfway point of the Beginner’s Guide to SEO! So far, we’ve learned what is search engine optimization, and how it’s work, and now, you know the technical SEO setup that can help your website get found. Next, buckle up, because we’ll be diving into the exciting world of On-Page SEO in our next Chapter.